Many people don't know that Kansas City is both in Kansas and Missouri. It's one city that spans across the state line. So even though this race was in Kansas City, it was completely in Missouri, making Missouri state number 6!
I headed to Kansas City by myself that weekend to visit my sister, Renee, who lives in Kansas City. My mom also drove from our home in Hays and we made a girls weekend out of this race (you'll notice this a few times! Also notice our numbers are all back to back!)
Race morning was cold, but it was a beautiful October day to run! We drove from my sister's apartment to downtown KC, MO and found parking in a structure. The city allowed for free parking all morning for the race!
The race starts a block from Crown Center Square, which was a great venue for the finish line party later on. The course immediately heads to the Power and Light District, before doing a 180 and passing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Just after passing the museum, there's a nasty climb from miles 3.5 to 5! I so wanted to walk but I kept myself going! No walking today! I do remember my pace slowing down, but all that climbing means you have to head back downhill at some point! From 5-7.5 it was all downhill through beautiful KC, MO neighborhoods.
Here is where the full and half marathon splits off. I remember starting to get my laps back under me again after all that climbing and seeing my pace pick back up. After a loop around the the Seville Light Fountain (which is died colors for different events and holidays!) we followed a beautiful path past Mill Creek Parkway. My pace kept dropping even though we started to climb again for these finishing miles. There might be a PR in sight!
Knowing I'm on PR pace late in the game always gives me another boost to keep pushing the pace hard. The race finishes back near the Crown Center, next to the National WWI Museum and Memorial. Luckily, the last quarter mile is back downhill meaning no matter how you feel you can pick up the pace a bit towards the finish!
The hills were rough in the beginning, but I did hit a new PR and finished with an overall time of 1:47:19 (8:12 avg). This was awesome considering my 5k pace was 8:44, and 10k pace was 8:21.
After I finished the race I got cleaned up and changed clothes and then went to cheer on my mom and sister as they both finished their half marathons too.
The post race party was a lot of fun! Everyone could have a pulled pork BBQ sandwich (KC BBQ is the bomb, guys!) There were also local bands and breweries. Had the weather been a little warmer, we probably would have stayed to enjoy the festivities a little longer.
The Kansas City Marathon is a great race! The volunteers, aid stations, course and venue were all top notch. The course may be a challenging one, but it was a great race for my 6th state!
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